What to do when illness strikes - build a new bike!
Can Sam overcome illness to get race-fit and do his new bike justice?
This year hasn’t got off to the keen start that I intended, illness has blighted the start of my year, culminating last week with a nasty sinus infection that left me in bed for a couple of days. I'm blaming my two young kids spreading germs around the house like it's a paid job. My first ever race was scheduled for Saturday 3rd March so I decided to take the race bike out for a shakedown run on Sunday as I was feeling slightly better, 50mins slow pace, still felt ill but not terrible, got home and BAM! I was hit with a migraine so it was off back to bed. It’s still not gone away and I’ve regrettably cancelled the race entry for the coming weekend.
One of the reasons I’ve not blogged in a while is that the only thing I seem to have talked about is illness, it’s shaped everything I’ve done on and off the bike. In between colds/infections I’ve had some fairly good rides and put in 700 miles since the start of the year, but the total could’ve been at least twice that had I not been constantly ill. My defence has been to take time off the bike to try and recover but it doesn’t seem to be working. Daily vitamins and Echinacea hasn’t boosted my immune system either, I’m half tempted to take myself down the glue factory!
Joe Beer gave me some valuable advice when he coached me over winter 2010/2011: if you can’t get out on the, be productive in other areas; checking equipment, doing maintenance, sorting admin, planning races (more about that in my next blog) so I’ve been following orders and over the last few weeks I’ve been building my new race bike.
The Verenti Millook that Wiggle had leant me as part of being featured in Cycling Plus was returned and that left me with some work to do finding a new ride. I had a couple of ideas about the kind of bike I wanted and considered another half alu/half carbon frame but eventually opted for a full carbon frame in the shape of a Planet X Nanolight. This is fitted with a Sram Force groupset and 3T finishing kit, with Pro-Lite providing the wheels in the shape of some 1,500g Bracciano’s. A dodgy weigh in of the bike (me on the bathroom scales sans bike, me on the scales with bike) estimated it at 7.5kg with pedals so I’m fairly chuffed with that.
The plan was to feature the bike in a build blog but all the photographs I took during the build are terrible due to the fact that it was done in semi-darkness in the shed at the bottom of my garden! Rest assured that I did it all myself, with the help of Youtube to guide me through gear indexing. Sram provide some pretty useful videos on setting up their kit and I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything works the way it should. The bike rides like a dream, I just can’t wait to get well enough to do it some justice!